Jannik Sinner registered a comfortable straight-sets win over Egor Gerasimov in the Barcelona Open second round on Wednesday. Sinner will now face Roberto Bautista Agut for a place in the quarterfinals of the ATP 500 event.
The Italian had also faced Novak Djokovic in Monte Carlo last week, where he lost 6-4, 6-2. After the match Sinner was reportedly given some advice by Djokovic, and on Wednesday he described the World No. 1 as a 'kind' person for taking the time out to help.
"Riccardo (Piatti) knows Djokovic and his team very well," Sinner said. "Novak was kind to give us his point of view and to tell us how we can improve."
Jannik Sinner also thanked Novak Djokovic for his insights, but refuse to share the details of what they discussed.
"I thank him for the advice which we followed and from which we took inspiration to start working immediately afterwards," the Italian added. "What are these tips? Well, what he told me I don't tell, I keep it to myself."
Turning his attention to the upcoming match against Roberto Bautista Agut, Jannik Sinner claimed that the Spaniard is a "very solid player" and that it is likely to be a "very tight" encounter.
"We played two very hard games in Miami and Dubai, three sets for each," Sinner said. "Here it will be very tough and I'm curious to see him play on clay. He is a very solid player, we will see how he plays and how he goes. A very tight match is certainly waiting for me."
Happy to be in the top 20, but I still have to improve technically and physically: Jannik Sinner
Riding on a title in Melbourne and a runner-up finish at the Miami Masters, Jannik Sinner broke into the top 20 of the ATP rankings earlier this week. That made him the 12th youngest player to ever do so, and put him in an exclusive list of players to have achieved the feat as a teenager - a list that includes Novak Djokovic, Pete Sampras, Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal.
But Sinner downplayed the achievement, claiming that he is more focused on the areas of his game that he needs to improve.
"The ranking at the moment is just a number, important yes but there is much more," Sinner said. "At 19 I am much more focused on my path of improvement, together with my team with whom I work closely."
"To date the most important aspect, which interests me most, is understanding how to get out of difficult situations and improve," he added. "Obviously I'm happy to be number 20, but the road is long and I still have to improve a lot both technically and physically."
Jannik Sinner then went on to credit his team - especially coach Riccardo Piatti - for being a "fundamental" part of his career and development.
"The most important aspect is that, in my team, everyone knows what to do, starting with Riccardo to all the guys on my team who are fantastic. For me they are fundamental," Sinner concluded.